Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for 
Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!

SHOP SMART- SAVE BIRDShttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asphttp://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.aspshapeimage_6_link_0shapeimage_6_link_1
City Island Birds
Since 2007

Birding Advocacy

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.

Photos and Results of Our Past Walks
2007- 2011

Owl Walk- March 24
Owlet Walk April 15, 2012
Spring “Migration Madness” Walk- May 6
Clapper Rail Walk- May 27   
Fall Migration Walk- Sept. 23, 2012
Migration Walk- October 14, 2012
Last Minute Barred Owl Walk- Dec. 9, 2012
Bronx Brooklyn Walk- January 12
Spring Migration Walk- May 5
Three Club Walk-  August 24
Fall Migration Walk 2013
Owlet Walk- April 13
Spring Migration Walk -May 10
Fall Migration Walk-October 12
After Thanksgiving Walk- Nov. 20

Early Spring Walk- April 12Previous_Birdwalks.htmlOwl_Walk.htmlOwlet_Walk.htmlMigration_Madness.htmlClapper_Rail_walk.htmlFall_Migration_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2012.htmlbarred_Owl_Walk.htmlBronx_Brooklyn_Walk.htmlSpring_Migration_2013.htmlThree_Club_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2013.htmlOwlet_Walk_2014.htmlSpring_Migration_2014.htmlFall_Migration_2014.htmlAfter-Thanksgiving.htmlAfter-Thanksgiving.htmlEarly_Spring_2015.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0shapeimage_9_link_1shapeimage_9_link_2shapeimage_9_link_3shapeimage_9_link_4shapeimage_9_link_5shapeimage_9_link_6shapeimage_9_link_7shapeimage_9_link_8shapeimage_9_link_9shapeimage_9_link_10shapeimage_9_link_11shapeimage_9_link_12shapeimage_9_link_13shapeimage_9_link_14shapeimage_9_link_15shapeimage_9_link_16shapeimage_9_link_17


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


City Island?http://forgotten-ny.com/2000/05/city-island/
Pelham Bay Park Maphttp://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_pelham_bay_park/images/Pelham%20map-rev2005.pdf
City Island Communityhttp://www.cityisland.com
Directions Herehttp://www.cityisland.com/directions.html
City Island Birding ClubCIB_Club.html

This is what Yellow-rumped Warblers look like this time of the year. They are beginning to come in.

This was the nesting Killdeer on Hunter Island. It is gone now. See the story above.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

The Kazimiroff Nature Trail of Hunter Island
You may have noticed the new signs posted along the paths on Hunter island. The numbers correlate to different features of the “Island.” If you link below, you can find out what each sign post means. Dr. Kazimiroff was a noted Bronx naturalist. The trail marked in his honor winds through the largest and most natural of all of NYC parks. This area was once hunting and fishing grounds and the site of huge mansions. To find out more, print and bring the guide with you on your next walk. Kazimiroff Trail.pdf


Barn Swallows are due back this week. Check out the trestle near the Split Rock Golf Course. Here’s mom feeding the fledges a few years ago.

The Migration Moves On....

     It looks like we’ll be getting southerly winds this week and that could mean some great days. If you check our last walk’s results, you can see what species were in the park Sunday. Listed below are what we can expect this week, more or less. This is according to “Bull’s Birds of New York State.” He’s really pretty accurate. Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Clapper Rail, Virginia Rail, Sora, Upland Sandpiper, Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Purple Martin, Gnatcatcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush.

Our park doesn’t get Sora or Upland Sandpiper but they can be found in other locations in the tri-state area. So now the birds are beginning to build. I find the second week in May about the peak here in the NYC area. You should really try to get to Central Park during this time. In the spring, birds are pushed further inland as they migrate. In the fall, coastal areas can be better.

   The water at Turtle Cove has been lowered! The water has been very high for a while and I was concerned it would damage nesting areas. I sent an email to Marianne Anderson, Pelham Bay Park Administrator and a fe days later the water was lowered. I’m not sure if the action was in response to my email but the lowered water will be a lot better for the ecology of the pond. 

    Last year a Killdeer nested right out in the open on Hunter Island. The nest was easy prey and was in a spot near picnic tables. Dogs also roam near the nest. I alerted Dave Kunstler and they cordoned off the area. I also posted a sign. Recently this bird has nested in the same spot again. I was over there yesterday to find the Killdeer gone, along with four eggs. Instead, there was a crew from parks Department planting trees nearby, standing on the spot where the Killdeer was nesting. I was livid and they denied having anything to do with the missing Killdeer and eggs. This is nesting season and they should know it’s not a time to be planting near nesting areas

Clapper Rails could be back at Turtle Cove. I took this photo a few years ago.


Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron on City island.

All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Copyright 2015
Updated 4/17/15

              The Bronx Zoo Birdathon!  

Did you know that the Bronx Zoo is having a Birdathon? This promises to be a very cool event. I will be there and so will a bunch of our walkers. There is birding, activities for kids and lots of special events you might not want to miss. In addition, there are lots of great birding prizes.      

                Link for Information


This is the spot where the tide ran back into Eastchester Bay from Turtle Cove. The metal plates have blocked the tidal flow and the pond is flooded, affecting nesting species and probably much of the plantings done at great labor and cost.

                                        The Bronx Zoo Birdathon!  

Did you know that the Bronx Zoo is having a Birdathon? This promises to be a very cool event. I will be there and so will a bunch of our walkers. There is birding, activities for kids and lots of special events you might not want to miss. In addition, there are lots of great birding prizes.  Proceeds benefit world conservation.    

                                        Link for Information